04/19/2014 10:12AM

Aqueduct quarantine lifted


OZONE PARK, N.Y. - A precautionary quarantine that had been in place on a barn at Aqueduct for a week was lifted Saturday after further tests taken on a deceased horse were negative for equine herpesvirus.

“The state vet called last night and lifted the quarantine,” said Dr. Anthony Verderosa, chief examining veterinarian for the New York Racing Association. “He was confident it wasn’t herpes.”

On April 10, Clawback, a horse claimed in December by trainer David Jacobson was euthanized after he couldn’t get up and was in extreme pain. One sample taken from the horse had the presence of a very small amount of the virus, according to the state veterinarian.

On April 11, the quarantine was put in place at Barn 10 where 49 horses - 33 trained by Jacobson and 16 by Rudy Rodriguez - were housed. Those horses were not permitted to race and could only train among themselves after the other horses based at Aqueduct were done training.

A battery of tests was performed on Clawback and they all came back negative for infectious diseases.

The quarantine prompted trainer Rick Violette to have two of his stakes horses - including Kentucky Derby contender Samraat - stable at Belmont Park. Samraat breezed four furlongs at Belmont on Friday and returned to the track on Saturday morning to jog. Effie Trinket, the stakes-winning New York-bred filly, worked a half-mile in 48.25 seconds Saturday morning over the main track. She is being pointed to the $300,000 Distaff Turf Mile at Churchill on the Derby undercard.

Both horses were scheduled to van back to Aqueduct sometime Saturday.

“It makes it easier on me, my staff and the horse to have him in his own stall,” Violette said.